Indonesia dan New Zealand to resume FTA talks in March


Jakarta : The negotiation on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Indonesia and New Zealand is expected to be resumed in March 2009 after the signing of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA agreement in February, 2009.

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“We hope that the negotiation could be resumed soon after the signing of ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTAB. Hopefully it could be done in March,” Director General for International Trade Cooperations of the Trade Ministry Gusmardi Bustami here on Saturday.

Gusmardi denied allegation that there had been such a tension between the two countries which caused a cancellation of the negotiations concerned. “It is not true there is no friction. We have agreed to continue the talks between the two countries` trade ministers.”

According to him, the follow up negotiation between the two countries would focus on the details of agreements ever made by the two trade ministers.

In the meantime, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA launched in November 2004 will expire at the end of this year.

In the agreement, Indonesia will scrap import duty for 10,397 post tariff or 93.17 percent of the total post tariff as of 2009 till 2020. As many as 645 others are to have their tariff lowered, while other 117 will be subject to an exception.

Australia will abolish all kind of import duties from ASEAN as of 2009 till 2015 and at least 91,77 percent of the total post tariff will be lowered in 2009-2010 period, while New Zealand will remove 97,4 percent of the total post tariff at a stage of 80 percent in 2009 and 90 percent in 2012.

During the negotiation, Australia will target the opening of Indonesian automotive products, while New Zealand will open beef market and diary products.

For automotive, Indonesia will render a different treatment between Australia and Japan. The agreement on automotive sector with Australia will take into account the agreement between Indonesia and Japan.

“Little bit different, because what is asked by Australia like passenger car we have to allow it in 2020 and not in 2018 like that with Japan,” Gusmardi said.

Indonesia asked the two countries to accelerate the abolition of tariff for textile product and garment which is currently standing in a range of 5 to 17.5 percent from 2009 or 2010 for Australia and 7.75 to 19 percent for New Zealand starting 2017 or 2018.

In addition, Australia also provided an investment in agribusiness to review and arrange the capacity of development working programs as well as to push an investment in meat sector and diary products.

New Zealand also offered a facility like the sending of 100 Indonesian workers under a working holiday scheme, job opportunity for 100 cooks, 20 slaughters for halal certified meat and 20 teacher assistant for Indonesian language.